When claiming racism and unjustified police brutality, it’s important to familiarize oneself with the exact details and circumstances. For instance, Terence Crutcher – the reported unarmed Oklahoma man killed by police – had a long criminal record and history of aggression: including an “intent to kill” charge, drug trafficking and resisting arrest. In the tragic case of the Charlotte shooting, there was a black police chief, a black officer, and an armed black man who refused a simple request to drop his weapon. What’s really racist and unjust? Rioting, death threats, assault and looting in the name of social justice! I grieve for these men and their families, I truly wish all suspects could be disarmed with nonlethal force, but one moment of hesitation can be your last. If law enforcement acts rashly and inflicts bodily harm without reasonable cause, they should be held accountable without remorse or special accommodation. Period! However, when everyday Americans, regardless of race or disposition, refuse to follow simple instructions and therefore pose a legitimate threat to an officer’s survival…i.e., demonstrating erratic behavior or wielding a gun…they too are accountable for such unwise actions. Yes, believe it or not, cops lives matter too and they die every day with little media attention or national outrage. Their families simply do not resort to mass anarchy and opportunistic theft to assuage their grief out of respect for the law, their country and their neighbor.
If politicians, athletes and celebrities spent as much time pleading with the black community to obey the law and to never resist arrest as they do inciting hatred of America and violence against police with their reckless accusations and divisive rhetoric, countless lives could be saved and our communities made all the safer. After all, there’s no acceptable excuse for anyone not to comply with basic instructions when it will prevent unnecessary confusion, severe injury or death. Unfortunately, preserving human life is not at the top of the victimization agenda otherwise such prudent actions would have been taken long ago. Leadership, real quantifiable change, requires effort, responsibility and a great deal of selflessness. It’s not a symbol, an NFL demonstration or a soundbite on the 5 o’clock news to increase your sagging jersey sales. Modern day activism, on the other hand, merely requires raising a fist and claiming injustice in the wake of your own apathy and ignorance. Citizens have inalienable rights just like an officer has the natural right to self-preservation. And like it or not, our differences be damned, we all must learn to coexist in a world where sensationalism is now more acceptable than self-effacing truths and holding people accountable for their actions is a prosecutable form of discrimination.